While businesses and residents up and down the East Coast prepare for potential damage from Hurricane Irene, not everyone is sad to see the storm blow ashore. While no one likes to benefit from potential damage and destruction, there are numerous businesses that stand to see an increase in business from the hurricane and cleanup process.
Here are 10 industries for which big hurricanes are big business.
Outdoor products manufacturer – When the wind and rain of a hurricane come howling down, flagpoles, picnic furniture, potted plants and everything else stored outside tend to take the brunt of the beating. For those residents without major structural damage, getting these things replaced will be first on the "to-do" list.
Roofing, building and construction materials suppliers – Packing winds of up to 150 mph, hurricanes take no prisoners when they hit land. Homes, businesses, schools, churches and every other type of structure will likely be damaged. Whether it's replacing siding or shingles, installing a window, putting up a new garage door, or needing to rebuild altogether, building and construction materials are always in the highest demand after a hurricane hits.
Tree limb removal – Trees have little chance of standing fully intact after taking the impact of hurricane force winds and rain. Tree removal services are often one of the first businesses called to the scene to remove broken and dangling limbs from power lines and blocked streets. Once taking care of those major responsibilities, they then must shift their attention to all of residential yards littered with broken branches. A hurricane will keep tree limb removal businesses busy for weeks, if not months.
Water damage restoration – In addition to the damaging winds, hurricanes also smack the area with pounding rain. With increased rain always comes the potential for flooding problems. Water damage restoration specialists are called in after a major storm to help properly dry out a business or home to ensure the problem areas don't spread even further, and that mold has no opportunity to start growing.
Hotels – When hurricanes threaten to come ashore, those potentially affected coastal areas are often quickly evacuated. Without anywhere else to turn, many of those residents are forced to drive inland and stay in a hotel until given the okay to return home. Driving inland from the potentially affected area, the site of no vacancy signs is a common site following a hurricane.
Grocery stores – Before a hurricane ever even hits, residents from every area that could potentially be affected flock to their local grocery store to stock up on the necessities. Once the storm blows in, the potential to be trapped inside for a few days without access to the grocery store or restaurants is a very real possibility. That leaves those in the storms path scrambling for everything from water and juice, to eggs and bread.
Gas stations – When communities are evacuated because of a hurricane, it sends thousands of people into their cars and trucks and onto the road. Not knowing how far they may need to drive for to avoid the storm's path, drivers are forced to fill up for the long drive. Gas stations directly in the storm's path will see lines of vehicles snaking out their station for miles down the road waiting to refuel prior to a major storm bearing down.
Insurance – At first glance, it might seem as if insurance companies would take a big hit following a storm. While that might be the case in those communities directly affected, in other areas of the county, the storms often spur on business. Hurricanes and other natural disasters give everyone, not just those directly impacted, an opportunity to re-evaluate their own insurance needs. Many times, major storms give that extra kick to a home or business owner who was thinking about adding some additional insurance, but wasn't positive the timing was right. After seeing how devastating a hurricane can be, no one wants to be left without enough insurance to cover their loses.
Auto body repair – With hurricanes comes hail. As the ice pellets rocket down to the ground, its cars and trucks that will suffer the most damage. Vehicles will be covered with dents, leaving auto body repair professionals to help get those cars looking new again.
Waste management services – When all is said and done, it will be the responsibility of local waste management companies to haul off all of the trash and debris caused by the devastating storms. While it might not be glamorous, removing all of the trash that builds up during the cleanup process is critical to restoring life back to normal in the affected cities and towns.